tv Beyond the Headlines KOFY June 13, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
♪ ♪ >> cheryl: welcome to beyond the headlines, i'm cheryl jennings. today we are talking about dropout prevention. one if four students drop out before they finish high school. thankfully there are many local organizations that reach out to students and encourage them to continue their education. middle school to college today we'll talk about some of the programs that help students stay in school. first, the dropout rate for oakland's unified district was 26.6%. that is higher than the national average. joining us to talk about is the numbers and with a
administrators is doing about is the spokesperson, is troy flint. >> thanks for having me. >> cheryl: 26.6%, you must be doing a lot to address the issues? >> it's one of the most critical issues. districts across the country particularly urban districts. there is no one comprehensive solution. we're attacking it from null of angle that has address the social components that gets kids disenchanted with schools. >> cheryl: you have a different population in schools especially as they progress? >> we are predominantly low income district, 70% of our students qualify for free lunch program. as you elementary to middle, it increases. poverty is a factor in some of
these negative outcomes but it shouldn't be did he term in an event. that is determinant. so that is why we are drying trying a address these issues. >> cheryl: can you give me some examples? >> one factor that we have identified is the literacy score how proficient they are in english language and arts. that you can identify an impact as early as third great. not that students can't catch up. but often when students are struggling at that stage, they never do quite get up to par because once you get past third grade you move into grade four. you go beyond reading for readings sake and it becomes a component not just in english but determining success in other classes. we focused on literacy for early
ages up through 12th grade. >> cheryl: do you test them and give them mentors. how does that work? >> something we did last year was implement a reading assessment. so every student from kindergarten to grade 12 receives a reading assessment. interventions are made as necessary. >> cheryl: you have something called the dropout prevention plan? >> dropout prevention plan is multifaceted. we looked at middle and high school students, we experience a steep drop-off. >> is that because of the reading inability or peer pressure? >> it has to do with a number of different factors. one is demographic change, certain students are high performing at middle school but also what you see students that
can get by with creative solutions through the first three grades. when you get to grades four and five it becomes more challenging. they aren't easily as able to find way. >> i know kids in my family but were able to fake it. >> eventually you get, posed. we are making sure that kids are learning in the proper way and learning critical skills so they don't need to try to work arounds. they understand the material and are proficient. >> cheryl: do you work with other districts? >> we do. we work very closely with san francisco, with fresno, long beach, l.a., clovis and other like-minded districts. >> if kids get into high school, how do you keep them there? >> one thing we are focused, "a" making schools compelling in the
content that is produced and the quality of the instruction. then also, addressing some of the social conditions that may impact kids ability to learn. so we formed a partnership with the college board. those are people that do advance placement testing. what we are doing in 11 middle schools and three of our challenge high schools is to implement a free ap program to make sure they have the critical thinking skills and literacy and foundation to take the more compelling and exciting courses. to be able to succeed in them. we also received a grant from the federal government. innovation grant to work on instruction with teachers to help develop skills higher level content. we're very excited about. we're also one of foremost practitioners which is linked
learning which approach where you can get a rigorous academic component and certain academies in certain area with a technical and vocational piece. then also support services which provide intervention for kids struggling either socially or emotionally or academically. >> cheryl: this is fantastic fog. i know there is more information. we are out of time. they have website which you wanted to tell people about. coming up next, we'll hear about a program that works to stop young people from dropping out of school before those students even start thinking about it. look at 'em.
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treat dad to a juicy ribeye steak, just $5.99 a pound. and lean cuisine entrees are a buck ninety-nine. real big deals this week and every week. only at safeway. ingredients for life. ♪ ♪ >> cheryl: welcome back to "beyond the headlines." we are talking about dropout prevention. with us is jane choi. chief program officer for spark. it addresses the dropout epidemic by putting professionals with other people. >>ening you for hearing me. >> cheryl: tell me how spark got starred? >> it's how one teacher was witnessing more disen gauging students around him. felt compelled to transform
education and their on own learning personal. in 2004 their vision with 11 middle schoolers and connected middle school students with real adult professionals in workplace environment. sort of like mentors. >> what was so exciting about spark it's only program where we have students going to the workplace. >> cheryl: so underserved kids and they see another side of the world? >> as a middle school student sitting next to an engineer in one of top tech companies here. >> cheryl: that is fantastic. i know that it is hard, seventh and eighth graders? >> we discovered the middle grades are really the time when
students are dipping in engagement. we are seeing that there are far fewer resources for middle school students. so spark is targeting seventh and eighth graders and so they are ultimately graduating in time. we know that early warning signs of high school graduation is fundamental abcs, coming to school, attendance and behavior in school. we know it happens way before they enter the ninth grade. >> cheryl: who are some of the apprenticeships with? >> we have some other companies down in the bay area. some of the names are competitively applying for jobs. >> cheryl: how do you sign up for this? how does one get involved? >> we have two and we have
students that are identified by our schools. when you think about the spark student this is a student who may be a potential leader at school. a student who may be painfully shy in middle school. this is student who will be back of the classroom. we're hoping to remain unnoticed. we notice these kids. we no notice these students rids who have potential and we need to spark their interested back in school. so these are students who have been identified by the school and recommended by teachers to participate in spark. >> cheryl: what do parents say about this? >> they are thrilled they have the opportunity to work with adult professionals in performing arts and culinary arts to law. >> and which apprenticeship? >> so we simply ask the student.
what do you want to be when you grow up. >> do they have plans of expanding? >> we have recently grown over to oakland so we have two middle schools in oakland. we have schools here in san francisco and down in the peninsula. we will be serving close to 450 students just in the bay area from 11 students in 2004. on the national scale we are expanding to serve over 1300 students, in chicago and los angeles. i'm incredibly proud to say spark is working. we have 97.5% of our students graduating high school or on track. >> cheryl: 95%? >> 97.5%. >> cheryl: so if people want to volunteer, what happens? >> visit our website and you can
give one of our program directors a call. you will learn how easy it is to volunteer and our students would be excited. >> is there a charge for this? >> no, it is free for students and free for volunteers. >> how do you get your funding? >> that is a great question. most of our funding is from foundations and support from different individuals to show that our students have this free program accessible to them. >> so if people want to donate money. thank you so much for having me on today. >> cheryl: coming up next, it begin with poor kids and wanted to start a business. it's called build. it has a 99% graduation rate. we'll talk about it. stay with us.
> cheryl: welcome back. we're talking about dropout prevention. in 1999 four boys approached asking how to start out a business. they wanted to drop out of high school to pursue their dreams. it was on two conditions stay in school and improve grades. build is a program that serves high school students in low income areas and motivates to
correspondent indication. joining us is build's vice president of programs evaluation ajuah helton. i love the concept of build. >> it's really exciting. it's wonderful to see how build has gone from four students to over a thousand students nationwide. 700 in the bay area and students in washington, d.c.. cast lift for young people who are not only economically disadvantaged but first in the family to attend college. they are of a low income family. they are ethnically under represented in higher education. but we want looking for a student that might consider graduation as an option. for that student they are looking for the motivation. they are looking for the interested and the application
of regular school to their lives. that is where entrepreneurship comes in and real world of build ignites that excitement and helps them in high school. >> cheryl: so if somebody doesn't know about build, how do they fiet fine out about it? >> go to our website and partnered with 19 schools across the country so it is great to hear from troy. we are partner there and as well as peninsula. we have several schools partner there, as well. it's exciting to have volunteers come and supported our program. we have a four-year model where we teach in-school class to ninth graders where they start businesses. >> cheryl: sit once a week? >> it's like a regular high school, it's an elective. they will take art appreciation but learn how to start a business. that may excite the business that may not be engaged with
traditional subjects at the time. so they write business plans and then it becomes an after school program in tenth through twelfth grade where we feed capital to the businesses and they run their enterprises for two years. >> cheryl: what kind of businesses have you seen developed? >> you name it. we have close to 1,000 businesses come through build. so many different craft projects. great innovative ideas based on what students see in their own communities. we have a pair of gloves that have the bril lo pad already attached. we have wallets made of recyclable material. anything that excites the student and gets them motivated. then we help them through our mentoring program and through our volunteer and staff to apply the skills of entrepreneurship
that they are cull tait elevated go to success and get them in the motivation and belief of themselves. if you are an excellent entrepreneur some things that many people aren't able to do, you can go on and higher education. >> it's a four-year program? >> yes. >> you have guidelines? >> there is no bay area o barrier to entry and actively work with high school partners. from there all the students that complete the course are eligible for incubator and can join and launch their business. we also offer a ton of academic support, advising and tutoring and walking them through the college access process. we squeak to serve them through high school graduation and secondary option. >> cheryl: i know you also have success stories? >> absolutely. we are excited to have graduated close to hundred students nationally last year.
this year i mentioned we working over thousand youth. close to hundred percent of our students graduate from high school and are admitted to post secondary option. so they have graduated from college and who have worked with us as staff people. it's been amazing to see the student progression from being at high risk of not finishing high school to finishing college and pursuing their dreams. it's amazing to see our mentors, mentors that volunteer one evening throughout the week the school year and see their transit formation and how you seeing the potential impact has been amazing to see, as well. >> cheryl: i'm really happy to learn about it. thank you so much. unfortunately, we have run out of time. coming up next, we're going to talk about what is being done to help college students stay the course.
headlines." we have been talking about dropout prevention. the this program teach undergraduates leadership skills while keeping the focus. sage stands for student achievement guided by experience. joining us is executive director margie weingrow. i love what you do. it's hard to keep kids in college. if they don't have resources or support and your program provides that? >> it does. scholars program works with very low income students, students in poverty. they get to u.c. berkeley where there is over 34,000 students. as you can imagine, fish out of the water there. not only the academic load but the fact this that they have to work while going to school, there is so much going on with
them academically dealing with financial aid and all of that not focused on where they need to be when they leave school which is very short period of time. this is real problem at universities now. students are coming into the university and prepared for their academics but not for the professional world. >> there is a lot of stuff, it's more than just staying in school. it's about professional development and personal skills. >> it's much more than that. that is why we see, when we students identify with career that academics go up naturally. what we provide is a professional development skills like presentation skills and negotiation skills, professional writing. i had no idea when i started the program that most students
didn't know how to write a letter. frequently students don't know how to shake hands. giving a pitch and knowing how to network. then looking at what careers available. >> cheryl: you bring in companies, big companies to work with students? >> we work with many companies in the bay area, like kaiser, and they provide internships for students. they provide mentors. we're having young leaders diversity conference. we love to work with partners that are actively recruiting students. they have a great return on their investment as well because they have high caliber students who are professionally trained and ready to go. there isn't that huge gap between academic and
professional world. >> cheryl: what i love about object internship. they are paid internships and they are paid well? >> i practice what i teach. we teach them negotiation skills but i do negotiations with businesses because they are v getting very well-trained employees. they are paid relatively well for what they do. the students have a great work ethic. we constantly are getting requests for more. >> cheryl: i know sage is in 12th year? >> 14th year. >> and i know you got gremories. share some with us? >> one student trained who had five siblings she was responsible for. she went on to find a career that she loved. there are so many.
i have students that i work with that have been in jail and miraculously they get to berkeley. now, they are in a leadership track. great work. one of the things --. >> cheryl: i'm sorry we're out of time. you can learn them on your website. thank you for what usual doing. big thank you for ail of our special guests to talk about this important issue. information everything we talked about today is on our website at abc7news.com/community. follow me on twitter on abc7. i'm cheryl jennings. have a great week. we'll see you next time. ♪ ♪
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